It would seem as though that New Prototype shoe is
the lynch pin upon which Under Armour's future
Even as the latest earnings reveal strong upswings for the brand—fourth quarter sales climbed 29% to $174.8 million, while income grew 42% to $16.9 million, or 34 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates—the footwear category slumped by almost 27%, ticking in at $6.8 million in sales. Apparel, meanwhile, grew almost 30% to $152.7 million in sales, grabbing by far the lion's share of Under Armour's balance sheet.
The company reiterated that it will dedicate 12%-13% of 2008 revenues to marketing, shifting a substantial portion of that spend to the first half of the year, when it will roll out its New Prototype performance cross trainer shoe, kicking off with a 60-second ad during Fox's Super Bowl broadcast Feb. 3.
"2008 marks an important milestone in Under Armour's long-term strategy with the launch of our performance training footwear," said Kevin Plank, chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We are confident in delivering the proper mix of the right product positioning, a great campaign, great retail partners who are excited about the launch, and most importantly, great product that will deliver against the demands of today's new prototype athletes."
Given all the ad spend and marketing oomph they're putting behind this launch, not to mention the growth plans that rest on its success, it will be very interesting to watch what happens when Nike kicks their version out two months earlier. For more info on this, check out my recent story about the March-release of that Nike line (the name of which is still a mystery) here.
Check out previews of the upcoming Under Armour Super Bowl spot here.